Gaming Cypher had the pleasure of interviewing Sjoerd DeJong from Teotl Studios, developers of The Solus Project, first-person single-player survival game.
How did you come up with the concept of The Solus Project?
It is a mix of a whole lot of games, movies, and TV series we’ve all been exposed to as we grew up. The first Unreal has had a major impact for example. In The Solus Project (TSP), too, you have a universal translator, it also has dramatic and colorful skies, and the whole look and feel is very “Unreal”.Another example is Half-Life.
Besides the game’s overall feel and pacing, things like the HEV suit voice inspired us for the way we set up TSP. Thrown into that mix are the comic books I read when I grew up. Stories of the protagonists going on adventures in far away places looking for treasures. Movies like Indiana Jones and games like Tomb Raider also fit into this category.
The all prevailing sense of adventure exploring places where no one has been in a very long time!And of course series like Lost have also been a strong reference for TSP. We got our own hatch, and the engine on the start beach is also a direct reference.
All in all we have fond memories of the games and movies from when we grew up, and we hope to capture the magic of those in TSP. Older gamers in particular should recognize a lot of elements!
We watched the 8-minute gameplay video and were left wanting for more. Will the exploration involve fights for survival or focus more heavily on puzzle solving?
It differs a bit dependent on which area you are in. We are alternating between puzzling and survival. The puzzles are usually not particularly difficult, though as they are more about giving you a sense of progress and purpose as you travel the world. We very much don’t want you to walk into the walking-simulator trap so there are quite a few puzzles and objectives to do as you are trying to survive.We are in any case not a survival-only game. Rather a single player story driven experience with survival elements.
Do you plan to eventually bring The Solus Project to PlayStation?
There are currently no plans for a PlayStation version.
What did you find to be the most challenging aspect of developing The Solus Project?
The hardest bit is probably to balance the experience as a whole. It is a game without clear enemies of flesh and blood, so you don’t have the regular combat moments you have in other games to break up and organize the gameplay. And it is also a game that is exploration-heavy, something which could quickly turn into a confusing walking simulator if you are not careful.To find the balance between a world that is too empty and too confusing, and on the other side one that is too strict and too small is the hardest aspect of making TSP. That is also one of the reasons why we are going to launch on Early Access/Xbox Preview, to get some feedback on what direction players like the most.
If you could be any video game character ever invented, who would you be?
Oh, that is a difficult one! I often focus on the worlds and environments in the games I play rather than the characters, professional bias really, and in that sense Morrowind perhaps would be a candidate. Actually, The Witcher is also a good candidate. Similar style world, and the combination of that world with Geralt would work well.
Developed by GRIP Digital s.r.o. and Teotl Studios, The Solus Project is slated for an early 2016 release across PC and Xbox One via the ID@Xbox self-publishing program, launching simultaneously on each platform – Steam via Early Access, GOG and with Game Preview on Xbox One.
We’d like to thank Sjoerd for taking the time to interview with us and are looking forward to playing The Solus Project.